I’ve been a bit hard on DC‘s Batman since James Tynion IV took over writing duties. The first few arcs all felt like a setup for what’s to come. They were a level increasing to the boss battle. Recently, the series has felt like the main event. With Future State over, Batman has been building towards that future Gotham. It’s one of neon hiding the fascist leadership within. Batman #108 continues that march adding layers to the world and story so far.
Tynion has a focus and that’s the glimpse of a possible future Gotham. We know that a ban on masks is coming and that a tech-driven police force will crack down delivering a jackbooted peace. Tynion has been building towards that with a carefully assembled foundation involving a crooked CEO, Scarecrow, and a Mayor who seems to mean well. But, one of the more intriguing aspects to it all is the Unsanity Collective. It’s a group that are pushing the people of Gotham to get past their fear. Bruce/Batman has decided to infiltrate the group in a style that’s a blatantly crappy undercover cop. The results are intriguing.
In Batman #108, Tynion makes a hell of a case that the Unsanity Collective might actually have a point. We’re introduced to Miracle Molly, a tech-wiz you just know will play a bigger role in Batman’s future. Molly takes us on a tour of the group and its world laying out their philosophy. We also get a better idea as to who they fit into the greater narrative. Through it, undercover Batman clearly thinks through their point and what they’re trying to accomplish. You also get a sense he’s on the fence as to whether they’re truly a threat or if they can be allies in some way. It’s an interesting exploration of the radicalism they bring to the table.
The art by Jorge Jimenez is amazing. The first page alone cements the issue with a splash that you’ll linger on. Tomeu Morey continues to deliver the neon colors, building towards the style coming in a possible feature. Clayton Cowles‘ lettering packs a lot in without being overwhelming, delivering the right punch. There’s an impressive amount of style and details thrown into the issue with pages that beg you to explore. Each new character we’re introduced to tells us a story about them and the world layering on the details to soak in.
The issue also continues its story featuring Ghost-Maker. Tynion is joined by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz on art with Morey on color and Cowles lettering. The story feels familiar with a style similar to that of the classic Batman: The Animated Series episode that had villains all telling a story about their interaction with Batman. In this chapter, Kid Kawaii tells of her experience and interesting exploration of Ghost-Maker’s intelligence and preparedness. Through his enemy’s tales, we learn more about the character and what he brings to the table.
Batman #108 is a fantastic issue. It builds out the cast of Gotham with new characters and new aspects. It builds towards the city we saw in Future State. All of that is done with eye-popping art and in a way you come away with a different perspective on a possible enemy. This is the Batman I’ve been hoping for and excited to see where the series goes.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Jorge Jimenez, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – TFAW